The campaigning restaurant guide for people who want to eat fish – sustainably

In Partnership with Marine Conservation Society

The Restaurant at the Jesmond Dene House Hotel

Jesmond Dene House, Jesmond Dene Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 2EY

0191 212 3000

Fish2fork Rating
0.5 Blue Fish

Last rated: 30/08/2011

What we say

This is a mixed bag. Although we are pleased to see produce such as diver-caught scallops, day boat monkfish and organic salmon, there are negatives.  Cod, seabass and turbot are all served and, depending on the location and method of catch, are all species for which there are concerns. The restaurant fails to give the provenance of the fish online, making it problematic for customers looking for detail on sources. On balance, though, this restaurant has done enough to merit a 0.5 blue fish rating.

What they say

Our award-winning Restaurant (three AA Rosettes) in Newcastle is based on simple but firm principles. We start with the best ingredients we can find, preferably local (some from the hotel garden), and we believe taste is more important than style. Our Head Chef, Michael Penaluna, and his team, make it their business to get to know our suppliers, then use their skills to produce dishes that enhance rather than confuse the flavours. Classic techniques but a contemporary approach to produce Modern British dishes that are light, fresh, flavoursome.

About The Restaurant at the Jesmond Dene House Hotel

The restaurant is housed in a Grade II listed Georgian house designed by celebrated Newcastle architect John Dobson. It was bought in 1871 by shipbuilding and armaments magnate Captain - later Sir - Andrew Noble. He converted and upgraded the building adding a new wing, billiard room and Gothic porch and many more bedrooms befitting his status. From the 1930s it became variously, a college, civil defence establishment, seminary and residential school. After a period of neglect it was rescued by local entrepreneurs who transformed it into a 40-bedroom luxury country house hotel among woodlands in the upmarket suburb of Jesmond.

Head Chef Michael Penaluna presides over a contemporary Modern British restaurant with two stylish eating areas: the former music room with original plasterwork ceiling, and Garden Room with its summer terrace. There is a great value lunch menu (£16.50 inc coffee), a house supper menu (£27 for 3 courses) and a dinner menu.

A refreshing but judicious use of unusual herbs and ingredients lifts the menu out of the conventional: kohlrabi soup with golden raisins and curried apple, for example, or apple and lemon verbena espuma with mint sorbet. Suppliers are also properly credited: Tim Oliver’s Galloway beef fillet is served with north country mixed beetroots, Swiss chard and bone marrow crust; Robert Latimer’s day boat monkfish with saffron linguine, razor clam and girolle mushrooms; Ken Holland’s North Country organic vegetables salad, fresh herbs, flowers and sorrel emulsion. Lindisfarne oysters, North Sea halibut and Northumberland venison also add a strong regional accent.